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Marshfield school moves to remote learning after 6 people there test positive for COVID-19 in 5 days

Daniel Webster Elementary School in Marshfield is moving to remote learning for at least two weeks after six members of the school community tested positive for COVID-19 in a five-day period, officials said.

The school could reopen as soon as Oct. 26, and a final decision will be made the week of Oct. 19, Marshfield Superintendent Jeffrey Granatino said in a letter to families Saturday.

Granatino said six people connected to the school tested positive between Monday and Friday but did not say whether those infected were students, parents, teachers, or other staff members.

Officials do not believe the cases originated at the school, but through contact tracing they identified several people who were in close proximity with those who tested positive and must quarantine for 14 days, the letter said.


After those close contacts were forced to quarantine, the school did not have enough staff to safely stay open and educate all students in the hybrid model, he said.

The school joins multiple others in Massachusetts that have moved to remote learning or delayed reopening plans as their communities experience spikes in the virus.

On Wednesday, Boston Public Schools, which were slated to reopen to prekindergartners and kindergartners on Oct. 15, announced that in-person learning would be delayed until at least Oct. 22 after the city’s COVID-19 positivity rate rose to 4.1 percent.

Pentucket Regional High School announced Wednesday that it would go remote until Oct. 9 after two students tested positive for COVID-19.

Falmouth High School went remote Oct. 5, after students attended a party where they ignored safety guidelines,officials said.

In Hudson, two positive COVID-19 cases were reported on Oct. 2, and a third unrelated case was reported on Oct. 5, but Hudson schools remained open, providing remote learning to students who were forced to quarantine. An undisclosed number of students in Woburn were also forced to quarantine amid an increase in local cases.


In Marshfield, Granatino said he is hopeful other schools in the town will not have to move to full remote learning.

“We will continue to work diligently to ensure our schools adhere to all covid-related protocols and practices as outlined by” the Department of Public Health and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, he said in the letter. “Still, no school can combat this situation alone.”

Granatino urged parents to help fight COVID-19 by enforcing safety guidelines at home.

“It is incumbent upon all of us to be vigilant,” he said. “The need for socialization is real, but the need for safe behaviors is critical.”

Andrew Stanton can be reached at andrew.stanton@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @_andrewstanton.